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3.25.2005

History of Japanese Curry

1869 - Curry arrived in Japan with the British through the port of Yokohama
1872 - Buddhism has banned and denounced eating meat, especially beef until this year. In 1872, eating beef was considered a sign of 'modernity' and curry became the popular way to eat meat. Other than using beef in curry, chicken, shrimp, clam, cod fish were popular ingredients.
1877 - 凮月堂(Fuugetsudou) started the chain of 'high end Western cuisine,' including curry rice. These dishes were sold at 8cents per serving; compared to soba which costs 1cent)
1887 - there are doubts that Curry were cooked at home up to this year.
1903 - Sino War period - canned curry beef and pork were part of soldier's meals.
1898 - price of curry meal dropped to 5-7cents per dish
1906 - curry pastes became available on retail market
1932 - curry became one of the set menus in common cafeterias; coffee is also readily available and a set meal of curry and coffee together costs 20cents.
1940 - inflation - curry costs 20-30cents
1941 - during WWII - curry production stopped for the retail market but was available to the soldiers
1946 - production of curry resumed; because of shortage of supply, curry only comes in powder form
1950 - curry became a popular instant food
1960s - curry became 'domesticated' - sweet curry became available
1969 - instant food culture became the trend in Japan
1970s - curry consumption grew rapidly

=== Domestication Process ===
1870s - flour was used in curry paste
1880s - flour was removed from curry paste; onions were replaced by Japanese long green onion.
1890s - onions were back as one of the popular ingredients, including other western ingredients such as milk
1960s - curry is domesticated as "Japanese" - popularisation of 'sweet curry' which used to be only for young childern

sources:
http://www.housefoods.co.jp/openhouse/museum/rekishi.htm
http://www.currymuseum.com/

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